April 2011 Newsletter

Posted By on May 12, 2011

News from Hawaii—StarAdvertiser.com, 2/8/11On February 7th, the Hawaiian Senate Health Committee voted unanimously, 4-0, to shelve a bill to allow physician assisted suicide in the state. This marks the third time an assisted suicide measure, based on a model of Oregon’s law, stalled in a legislative committee. The “Death with Dignity” measure (SB 803) would have allowed a terminally ill, competent adult to receive lethal drugs to end life.

Newborns and Music—LifeSiteNews.com, 3/8/11French scientists have discovered one-month-old babies are able to remember music played to them in the third trimester of their mothers’ pregnancies. In the study, the researchers played a descending piano melody twice a day to expectant mothers in their 35th, 36th or 37th weeks of gestation. They tested the babies one month after they were born, playing both the descending melody and an ascending nine-note piano melody during the babies’ sleep. On the average, the heart rates of the babies decreased by 12 beats a minute with the familiar descending music, compared to 5-6 beats per minute with the unfamiliar melody.

It Depends On How You Say It—Rev. Robert Fleischmann, the National Director of Christian Life ResourcesWhen the United States legalized abortion on January 22, 1973, the language changed. No longer was a little one growing and kicking in the womb referred to as a “baby.” Rather, the child was reduced to a Latin and medical terminology to describe a stage in his or her biological development.

 Today people talk about the unborn child as a fertilized egg, zygote, a blastocyst, an embryo and a fetus. All of these terms simply describe the developmental stages of life – something that pro-life advocates know is a baby growing in the womb! Yet, the careful use of the right terms can insulate us from harsh realities.

No one likes to talk about aborting a baby – not even abortion activists. They talk about the procedure of abortion without explaining the horrific details. When pressed they describe the expulsion of the fetus, the hindrance of the embryo from attaching to the endometrial lining or the removal of fetal matter-anything to avoid saying that in abortion they terminate the life of a baby.

It is not surprising the world has gotten to this point. A number of years ago in my research on changing societal attitudes, I discovered that some scientists in their efforts to legalize the practice killing of newly-born children (infanticide) described these babies as “radically defective neonates.” I can understand the reasoning – no one wants to talk about killing an unwanted, disabled newborn baby. It is so much easier to kill a radically defective neonate. It sounds like the end of a failed experiment.

The same can be said about the changing rhetoric involving the end of life. The world used to be content with terms like “coma,” “brain damaged” or even “in a fog.” Instead, we have grown comfortable with the phrase “persistent vegetative state.” Why that phrase?  “Persistent” gives the impression that the condition will go on and on with no end in sight. “Vegetative” sounds like the person is both living and edible. This dehumanized term likely helps us feel more comfortable when we must do something dehumanizing, such as terminating the life.

It is hard to believe all of this verbage refers to people, created and redeemed by God. Though it sounds simplistic, I miss the days when a baby was a baby, a mother was a mother and an ailing grandfather was still your grandfather. All other terms may help track a stage of development or a condition, but in the end it certainly cheapens life. So, be careful about what you say!  (Full article in Clearly Caring, 2011, Volume 31 / Number 1)

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